Xi'an is an excellent place to pick up souvenirs and antiques, which are generally cheaper and more varied than in Beijing, though prices have to be bartered down and the standard of goods, especially from tourist shops, is sometimes of poor quality. Also note that many of the antiques sold are fake. Shopping is also an enjoyable evening activity, since the markets and department stores are open until 10PM. There are many big shopping centers, department stores and supermarkets in and around the city, centered mainly along Dong Dajie, Nan Dajie and Jiefang Lu.
Xi'an is a store house of ancient Chinese culture and calligraphy. There are more than 300 steles dating from the Han, Wei, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties collected in the Forest of Steles in Xi'an. Books of the rubbings from some of the most famous Chinese calligraphers can be purchased there. If you are interested in Chinese history, language, or calligraphy, then this is an excellent opportunity to enrich your collection of calligraphic rubbings.
These eye-catching and colorful paintings overflow with the atmosphere of Chinese country life and are widely enjoyed by travelers to Xi'an. Great folk paintings can be purchased at most tourist attractions from street vendors and in small shops nearby.
Paper cutting is an extremely popular folk art in the Shaanxi Province villages. On days of celebration such as holidays and weddings, villagers like to decorate the doors and windows of their homes with colorful paper cuttings.
The designs of the paper cuttings are rich and varied, but they always feature symbols of good luck and happiness as the main theme. Other secondary themes include landscape scenes, legends and myths, and folk stories. These folk paper cuttings are usually inexpensive, but you should still bargain.
Tang Pottery Replicas
Xi'an's proud tradition as the capital of the Tang Dynasty is kept alive today by modern day replicas of Tang Dynasty pottery. Tang Dynasty pottery, with its distinctive blue, green, and yellow color glazes is still hand-made as it was during the Tang. Common themes include figurines and ceramic camels and horses.
Because of this revival in the art of Tang style pottery, buyers should be wary of any shop owners or hawkers that claim their pottery to be "old". Just a reminder! The Tang Dynasty was from about 600 to 900 AD. That would make any genuine Tang Dynasty pieces out of the reach of any ordinary modern day shop.
There are many different types of replicas of Terracotta Warriors and they are available as souvenirs, from a few inches tall to life-size. But buyers beware; the life-sized statues cost a fraction of the price to make, so be careful about what you are willing to pay. And remember, you can probably bargain on the prices of these items.
Gift Shop of South Gate of
Shu Yuan Men (The Arts Street )
Under the ancient city wall behind the Forest of Steles in Xi'an, there is a well-known street in the style of ancient towns - Shu Yuan Men. Beiyuanmen and Huajue Xi'ang (the alley that runs off to the Great Mosque), are the places to go for small souvenirs like engraved chopsticks, teapots, and chiming balls.
Another grouping of tourist spots are scattered along Shuyuanmen, a cobbled street just east of the south gate. Both sides of the slab stone road are lined with buildings in the Ming and Qing styles. Various arts and crafts are sold on this crowded street, as well as historical relics, calligraphy, paintings, antiques, jewels, and folk art. Reproduction of Terra-cotta warriors and horses are also available, from a few inches tall to life-size. Prices range greatly as well, from 1 US dollar to several thousand dollars for the largest statues.
Xi'an Antique Market
Xi'an Antique Market is located at the intersection of Zhuque Lu and Nan Erhuan Lu (Southern 2nd Ring Road) near the Small Wild Goose Pagoda. From large furniture to small coins, the market contains every possible antique to collectors, but be aware of all the replicas.
Wenbaozhai Tour Shopping Center
Wenbaozhai Tour Shopping Center of Xi'an is one of the earliest fixed tour shops for foreign travelers of the northwest region. Dealers sell silk rugs, woolen blankets, silk clothing, jewels, jade articles, calligraphy, paintings, historical relics, antiques, model clay figures of warriors and horses, and bronze cars and horses. This place is located at No. 5 Yanta Lu Zhongduan, Xi'an.
Kaiyuan Shopping Mall
Xi'an Ginwa Shopping
Xi'an Home Club Shopping Plaza
Yi Chu Lian Hua ( Lotus Supercenter )
Xi'an has a strong artistic pedigree, and the paintings and jewelry available here are much more varied in style than those you see elsewhere. As well as the line and wash paintings of legendary figures, flowers and animals that you see everywhere, look for bright, simple folk paintings, usually of country scenes. A traditional Shaanxi art form, appealing for their decorative, flat design and lush colors, these images were popular in the 1970s in China for their idealistic, upbeat portrayal of peasant life.
Shaanxi Art Museum
Tang Dynasty Art Museum
Xi'an Jade-Making Center
Silk Embroidery Factory
Foreign Language Bookstore
Xinhua Book Store
Xi'an Old Book Store